Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I Remember: Bella Vista, Fairfield, CT

I'll always remember, and cherish, my memories of the time I spent at Bella Vista, a beautiful estate in Connecticut. Built in 1929 for Mrs. Hugh D. Auchincloss, Bella Vista has six bedrooms in 10,000 square feet, plus a separate staff or guest house. I was working for the distinguished New York designer, George Clarkson, who designed the house interiors and grounds with Jimmy Hollingsworth, for Mr. and Mrs. David Johnston. You may know of or know Shirley, she did the book "Palm Beach Houses" and is the most charming and beautiful person imaginable. It was such fun to complete the job, and be invited to stay for the weekend, sleeping in the guest rooms, and indulging in fabulous meals, Leron linens, and fresh flowers from the garden all over the house. I drove Jacqueline Gonnet from House & Garden up and she featured Bella Vista in an understated story of wealth and privilege. Currently on the market through Bill Raveis, it is listed for $12.500,000.00. Candy and Bill have a place here in Naples, and Raveis has the best listings in Connecticut. Check out these pics from lovely, aristocratic Bella Vista. DF *****

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Ridgeway's for Christmas Dinner!

For quality, service, and atmosphere, one simply can't beat Ridgeway's in Old Naples. Sukie and Tony are celebrating their FORTIETH YEAR in business, and Adolfo was the best server ever. In fact, inscrutable comes to mind - and the Hanah Chardonnay was so creamy and smooth. We had the prix fixe - and it was most satisfying. While Third Street South was absolutely barren, Tony and Sukie took over 700 reservations today. Visit Naples, and try Ridgeway's, you won't regret it. DF *****

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Ikat Madness, in Christmas Rouge

I love this textile from F. SCHUMACHER, called Tiraz Cotton Ikat, in Rouge. While I haven't actually seen it in person, I like the pattern, the color, and I believe the design is woven in, not printed,but I will have to investigate. Imagine this on a pair of gilded or painted chairs, flanking your Christmas tree...beautiful! I would also like to see it used for a headboard and hangings in a bedroom, or as wall upholstery in a sitting room, or for some nice pillows on a beautiful down filled sofa. I have never seen an ikat pattern that I didn't respond to. Ikats are chic, modern, fun, and up to date, all at the same time! ENJOY! DF *****

Monday, December 19, 2011

Global Views, Designer Cathy Triant Buxton

New York Social Diary recently featured the home of designer CATHY TRIANT BUXTON. Her father, Theodore, known as Ted, worked for DAVID HICKS, and they have the most amazing apartments in the city. I chose to focus on this bedroom Cathy designed, as it looks so similar to the work we are doing at Design West, and she used a GLOBAL VIEWS table. We feature quite a few accessory pieces from global in our new showroom, and response has been overwhelmingly positive. Visit our showroom, in Naples, at the Mercato. 9118 Strada Place, Suite 8130. We are open seven days a week, and have a staff of six designers plus an AIA architect. We're ready to make your dreams come true! Enjoy! DF *****

Monday, December 12, 2011

Designer Heaven, Decorator Paradise

Billy and I had a productive day, visiting the design center, seeing friends MARK FANTA, and SCOTT MOSER at Webster & Company, checking out our friend JUDITH AUCLAIR'S display of objet... then to see PHILIP ROWE at Roche Bobois. and also AMY JIMENEZ at Kravet/Lee Jofa/ too is a fab new guest bath we created for clients through Interiors by Design West. Check out these shots I took today on our jaunt through the Naples world of design...Oh and did I forget to mention RYAN at the Design Center bistro? Lunch was delicious! And designer KIRA KRUMM, just back from China, looked smashing in black chiffon! DF *****

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Naples, Italy, Naples, Florida Mercato, Mercato

Imagine this strada in Italy... as opposed to the one I work in, here in Naples, Florida.

There is a Mercato, or market, in Napoli, just as the new one here in Florida. I love the contrast between the two. The former is over two thousand years old, ours here is about three years old... Enjoy! DF *****

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Exciting December!

Judith Liegeois, Mark Sikes, Kitty LaRocco, Robert Couturier, House Beautiful, and Mummy's Oyster Stew! What could be more exciting than that? Judith has a fabulous new space - on 12th Avenue South, here in town, you MUST see it! It's a sexy and divine place of inspiring design. Mark Sikes got the cover of this month's (and next) House Beautiful, and I LOVE his style, it reminds me of mine, if only I lived in Los Angeles! Check out his blog and see his charming house in this aforementioned issue. Sadly, a good source and wonderful fabulous woman in Naples - Kitty LaRocco - has died. I loved her, and she allowed me to purchase a stunning 1950's Italian sconce from her shop, before she closed it and moved into her warehouse. (See picture of it above). Finally, Robert Couturier, an old friend of my late mentor's Tice Alexander, has a spread in the new HB also, and its a chic house here in Naples. Many of the top designers in the world have been flown in to Naples for years to do up the homes of the top executives from industry throughout the U.S. so I was not surprised to see this. I loved his quote about living in paradise: "You can get very tired of living in paradise. That's why we only go to paradise when we're dead". Ha! It is true in a way, and no doubt the owners of the house featured most definitely are not in town in the off season. As for that oyster stew: Heat milk and butter, cook the raw oysters in it until done. Add some black or white pepper and a few dashes of Garners Texas Pete hot sauce, serve with plain saltine crackers, Delicious! That's all for now folks! XXOO DF *****

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Neighborhood Shots Naples

It was a slightly cool, sunny, breezy day today, I took these from my bike, had a blast! DF *****

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Here Come The Holidays!

Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hannukah, New Years! A lot of celebrations coming up, all in the next six weeks or so. Looking forward to a great end of the year, 2012 here we come!


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Progress on Sixteen

I took this shot, and I do like the monochromatic look here...waiting for the rug, sofa table, coffee table, lamps...

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

November 2011 News

News! Designing projects all over the U.S.! Partnering with Kreiss in a unique business model for the 21st century! TCB (taking care of business!) It's all good! DF *****

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

More Progress on the 16th Floor, Naples

I am slowly but surely approaching the completion of this condo in Naples, the bed had to be carried up all sixteen flights, as it wouldn't quite make it onto the elevator. Here are some tantalizing background shots, compliments of yours truly... and a big congratulations goes to dear friend James Andrew of NYC for his recent feature in November's issue of "House Beautiful"!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Library, Grey Oaks Country Club, Naples

I adore this library I created in Grey Oaks for my dear clients from Potomac, MD. We are in the process of freshening the room, as Mrs Parish would have said. Speaking of Mrs Parish, The Enchanted Home recently featured my favorite Palm Beach decorator, Leta Austin Foster, who is the Sister Parish of today. Enjoy these "before" shots, dear readers, friends, followers, and clients! DF *****

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Stark Carpet: Leopard

I was thrilled to see the installation of the new Stark carpet for one of my Grey Oaks projects, here in sunny Naples on the Gulf. It marries beautifully with the existing furnishings, some of which we have brought in from other rooms, and adds a whole new mood to the room, making it more inviting and user friendly...just a little glimpse here for you dear readers. ENJOY! DF *****

Monday, October 10, 2011

Grey Oaks Progress!

The new room is almost finished, and here are some "progress shots" ENJOY! DF *****

Saturday, October 8, 2011

October Inspirations

Sitting Room by Diane Burn

Ah, October! The month when we begin to feel the excitement of the upcoming holiday season, not to mention HALLOWEEN! When we all wish to channel Martha (Stewart) and outdo each other with our jack-o-lanterns... Here, I chose to pull some October-ish images for your inspiration and just for fun! Enjoy! DF *****

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Out and About in Naples

Had a blast today, starting with seeing the great progress on the Pelican Bay project I'm helping to bring into focus, and a fun gallery opening, seeing some old colleagues and meeting some new friends. Tomorrow morning, am off to the workroom to check on window treatments, and then to Grey Oaks to check on the villa project, then back to the beautiful and calm showroom, Kreiss, featuring Interiors by Design West. Looking forward to receiving my recently ordered copy of "A Charmed Couple, the Art and Life of Matilda and Walter Gay", by William Rieder (Abrams). The life of the mind! Ah! DF *****

Monday, October 3, 2011

Work, Bravo, Glamour!

"What a dump!"

Kitchen under way

One of the things I learned in a very real way from my late friend and former associate designer, Tice Alexander, is that work is the true glamour. Work! Here, I share some more progress shots from a small unit in a Pelican Bay high rise condo (16th floor) - Enjoy! Speaking of work, I am so enamored of Rachel Zoe and her show on Bravo, The Rachel Zoe Project. I basically think that Ms. Zoe epitomizes what Tice meant, about work being the truest form of glamour and stylish living. When one loves his or her work, it becomes like a marriage, and I feel like Rachel Zoe and I are somewhat married to our careers. Our busy season is now starting, so - as Bette Davis said in "All About Eve" "Fasten your seat belts, we're in for a bumpy ride!" Work! XXOO DF *****